Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7 -- Our Lady Of The Rosary

First Reading (Acts 1:12-14)

After Jesus ascended into heaven from the Mount of Olives, the disciples returned to the city of Jerusalem, “a Sabbath day’s walk” away. A Sabbath day’s walk was the distance that Jews were allowed to walk on the Sabbath. It is a distance of about three-quarters of a mile, a bit less than a kilometer. When they arrived, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. This was likely the same room where they had celebrated the Passover with Jesus on the night before he died. Present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alpheus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. Here Luke mentions the names of all the apostles except Judas Iscariot. Also there was Mary, the mother of Jesus, his brethren, and “the women” that is, they who had stood beside Mary at the foot of the cross: the mother of James and Joseph, whose name was also Mary, and the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee; her name is Salome.

Responsorial -- Cf. Luke 1

R. The Almighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His Name.

My soul glorifies the Lord
      and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. R.

For he has been mindful of his servant in her lowliness;
      henceforth, all generations will call me blessed.
The Almighty has done great things for me.
       Holy is his name! R.

His mercy extends from generation to generation
      upon those who fear him.
With his arm, he has performed mighty deeds,
        and scattered the proud-hearted. R.

He has brought down the mighty from their thrones
     but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
     but has sent the rich away empty. R.

He protects his servant Israel,
     mindful of his mercy,
the mercy he promised to our forefathers,
     to Abraham and his descendants forever.
R. The Almighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His Name.  

Gospel Luke 1:26-38

When Caesar Augustus was the Roman Empire and Quirinius was the Governor of Syria, in the town of Nazareth, a few miles south of the Sea of Galilee, a young woman named Mary was betrothed to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.

According to the Law of Moses, a betrothal was an agreement much more serious than an engagement is in our culture. The betrothal had the same legal effects as a marriage, except one. Such an agreement could only end in an act of divorce. If the man died before the marriage, the woman was considered to be his widow, and inherited from him according to law. Either party could end the relationship freely without penalty. If the woman became pregnant before the marriage was formalized, the child was considered the man’s offspring; if he knew that he was not the father, the consequences could be fatal for the woman.

In late March of that year, the LORD God sent Gabriel, the messenger angel, to Mary, Joseph’s betrothed. The angel approached her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly honored; the Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled by his words, and wondered what this greeting meant.

The angel said to her: “Do not be afraid, Mary. You have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, whom you are to name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called Son of the Most High God. The LORD will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever. His Kingdom will have no end.”

Mary asked, “How can this be? I am a virgin!” The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. The holy to be born will be called the Son of God. Elizabeth your kinswoman going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." When she heard the angel’s answer, Mary answered. "Let it be to me as you have said." And then the angel left her.

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Today, we confirm that the holy rosary is not a pious practice banished to the past, like prayers of other times thoguht of with nostalgia.  Instead, the rosary is experiencing a new springtime  Without a doubt, this is one of the most eloquent signs of love that the young generation nourish for Jesus and his Mother, Mary.

In the current world, this prayer helps to put Christ at the center, as the Virgin did, who meditated within all that was said about her Son, and also what he did and said.

When reciting the rosary, the important and meaningful moments of salvation history are relived.  The various steps of Christ's mission are traced.  With Mary, the heart is oriented toward the mystery of Jesus.  Christ is put at the center of our life, of our time, of our city, through the contemplation and meditation of his holy mysteries of joy, light, sorrow and glory.

May Mary help us to welcome within ourselves the grace emanating from these mysteries, so that through us we can "water" society, beginning with our daily relationships, and purifying them from so many negative forces, thus opening them to the newness of God. 

Pope Benedict XVI

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